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Comment: Re:Businessese Bingo and Telecom Workloads (Score 1) 31

No, the point of being a telecom company is to connect your customers together, move their data where they want it efficiently, and get them to pay you for it. Telecom workloads not only include digging ditches for your access line and running wavelength division multiplexors across them, they also include things like routing IPv4/IPv6, firewalls, load balancing, intrusion detection, preventing and mitigating DDOS, hosting CDNs, routing lots of private networks that all run RFC1918 addresses and maybe VLANs, MPLS, maintaining really large BGP tables, fast rerouting around failures, etc.

We're virtualizing that stuff instead of buying big expensive custom-built routers for the same reasons you're virtualizing your compute loads instead of stacking up lots of 1U machines. Internet-scale routers are blazingly expensive, and we want to use Moore's Law to do the compute-bound parts of the workload cheaply and efficiently and let us build new services quickly because we only have to upgrade the software, while using expensive custom hardware only for the things that really need it, plus a lot of that hardware is getting replaced by things like Openflow switches and SDN, which we'd like to take advantage of, and buying expensive dedicated-purpose hardware means you're often stuck overbuilding because the scale of your different types of workloads changes faster than you can redesign hardware.

Also, the transition of lots of enterprise corporate computing from traditional data center structures to clouds means that the communication patterns change a lot faster, and we need to keep up with them. This stuff does seem to be driven a lot more by the needs of the users (telecom and data center) than by the manufacturers of virtualization software or traditional hardware.

And yes, every bit of business buzzword bingo does flow across our desks.

Comment: Re:Chromecast (Score 1) 88

I'm not sure you can save anything with a dumb TV any more. These features are so cheap that they're being replicated by a $25 stick. Adding at least basic "smart" features is kind of a no-brainer for the manufacturer.

Too bad they suck at it. At least, in my experience: the built-in version of Netflix on my TV is so bad that I bought a Roku. It's a few years old, and maybe they've improved it since then, but on mine it's slow and awkward. Perhaps in the future they'll just spend $25 and wire in one of these things.

Comment: Re:No he didn't (Score 1) 198

Now they've gone back to trying to just blow the plane up. It's not impossible to get explosives past security, but they've resorted to complex ways to hide them, and they seem to suck at it. They get derogatory names like the Shoe Bomber and the Underwear Bomber because they failed.

Their incompetence suggests that they were individuals rather than concerted efforts, as the 9/11 hijackers were. Those were coordinated attacks on multiple targets, and a fair bit of effort was put into training them. It's certainly clear that they won't be able to get control of the cockpit any more, even if they threaten to kill the passengers.

That change alone probably accounts for the lack of hijackings, though having to risk passing through even theater security also means the chance of capture, and thus potentially turning into an intelligence bonanza. So the core of al Qaeda seems to have given up, and instead of unaffiliated nuts going to Cuba we get unaffiliated nuts trying to blow things up.

Comment: Data != knowledge (Score 3, Interesting) 251

by pla (#48027189) Attached to: Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time
During Windows 8 testing, Microsoft said that they had data showing Start Menu usage had dropped, but it seems that the tools they were using at the time weren't as evolved as the new 'Asimov' monitor.

No, Microsoft, wrong conclusion. See, your data told you the $deity's own truth, that start menu usage has dropped. Most people pretty much use desktop shortcuts 90% of the time, so your stupid fisher-price jolly candylike tiles may look like crap but don't seriously impact that specific usage pattern. More accurate data collection won't change that.

What your data didn't tell you? That remaining 10% of the time doesn't just mean people "forgot" they had a shortcut and decided to use the start menu for the fun of it. Using the start menu drastically beats having to hunt down actual executables somewhere on the HDD, particularly for administrative-type tasks that might go six folders deep into the Windows directory, and have insanely long command-line arguments as a bonus (ie, a lot of the control panel apps).

Data doesn't equal knowledge. The stats can tell you "how often", but not "why".

Comment: Re:You raise? Call, mofo! (Score 1) 444

by pla (#48025947) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power
How are they supposed to make money if they can't have the price arbitrage?

Net metering already gives them price arbitrage, as I've said over and over. During the day they buy from me at standard offer, and sell at peak usage rates; then at night they buy from the ultra-cheap baseline capacity generators and sell to me at standard offer rates. The KWH may "net" under that scenario, but make no mistake, the dollars do not and the utilities make a fortune off it. They just want even more.


Renewables demand a smart, gear and maintenance intensive grid

National security - The real kind, not the political theatre kind - Demands a smart gear and maintenance intensive grid. That we don't already have one that can easily handle distributed generation speaks volumes about what the utilities have spent the past century doing with all those profits.


but the money for all that investment to the tune of tens if not hundreds of billions apparently is supposed to fall out of the sky.

You missed the part where their biggest fear involves millions of private citizens paying tens of thousands of dollars each to upgrade one tiny section of the grid at a time. That works out to half a trillion dollars. How much more do you want?

Comment: Re:You raise? Call, mofo! (Score 1) 444

by pla (#48025931) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power
Hmm. $5,000 up-front in order save $14/month?

Not "just" $14/month - Did you miss the part about the utilities wanting to do away with net metering, an arrangement that lets the power companies resell my nice cheap standard-rate excess capacity at peak-usage rates? Yet still selling a similar load of nice cheap off-peak hours back to me? "I'll pay you to roll this boulder up that hill; but then I'll take a turn, and you can pay me the same to roll it back down!"

That would effectively make solar financially pointless for most middle class people (the ones who can both afford solar yet still have an incentive to save on their electric bill; the ones who work and therefore don't use much electricity in the middle of the day). So try more like $140 (though that obviously depends where you live), your normal electric bill minus 10-15%. That works out to more like a 2.9-year payback, rather than 29.

Comment: The illusion of security (Score 2) 66

by Animats (#48024919) Attached to: CloudFlare Announces Free SSL Support For All Customers

OK, so now you're encrypted from user to Cloudflare, in plaintext within Clouflare, and possibly in plaintext from Cloudflare to the destination site. That's more an illusion of security than real security. Even worse, if they have an SSL cert for your domain, they can impersonate you. Worst case, they have some cheezy cert with a huge number of unrelated domains, all of which can now impersonate each other.

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.

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